By: Elaine Day
July 31, 2023
At First Carolina Bank, we are committed to our communities, and one of the ways we demonstrate that is through our Financial Literacy Committee. We partner with the American Bankers Association in addition to our state-specific associations to provide financial literacy education for a variety of ages.
Our committee, as described by co-chair Helen Chilton, “started as a group of people who were on the same page with wanting to get boots on the ground and help people grow financially and determine the best ways to promote financial literacy in each of our environments, which are very different.”
Chilton, a Universal Banker in our Reidsville office, noted that an outreach that has been effective in her market has been to work with children in schools or churches, and the children’s energy has translated to their parents when they get home.
In fact, while Chilton admits that finance was, perhaps understandably, not a topic she regularly thought about when she was younger, she says that her recent experiences working with children as part of the Financial Literacy Committee have been some of her favorite.
“Not long ago, I worked with kindergarteners, and they were genuinely excited to learn about money and saving,” she recounted. “It opened my eyes that finance really is something that can be talked about [with this kind of age group]. Things are changing all the time, and this generation coming up is going to have to constantly learn and grow, but they were really engaged with our guidance, which made me even more excited [to continue sessions like these].”
Topics that we can cover and their associated age groups include:
- Value of a Dollar
- Uses of Money in Today's Economy
- Managing Money
MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL:
- Financial Planning & Career Exploration
- Real-Life Expenses
- Credit Scores
- Borrowing & Loans
- Applying for Mortgages
- Credit Scores
More specific or in-depth offerings on any of the topics, particularly credit or investing, are available with enough advance notice. In general, we will visit schools, community centers, churches, or other group settings. Our committee has notably partnered with a first-year student acclimation course at North Carolina Wesleyan University to present a financial literacy crash course with elements specifically chosen for that setting, such as opening a bank account independent of a parent or guardian, credit cards, and budgeting with new expenses like tuition or rent included.
When you reach out to our committee to schedule a session, you can expect a conversation to help tailor the content ahead of time, just like we’ve done with Wesleyan, and then on the day of the session, we will come complete with a presentation and team members who are ready to share from their own experiences as bankers, facilitate discussions, and answer any questions that may arise.
As for Chilton, her favorite tip to share is “pay yourself first,” or the idea that creating an emergency fund or fund for your future should always be top of mind, even on the tightest budget. She loves the way that it’s a simple practice that will get and keep you in the habit of saving.
Interested in scheduling a session with our group? Contact FLC@firstcarolinabank.com for more information!